Monday, 23 May 2016

Ways to Start Losing Weight Today

 Most of us in the life try to lose weight with our own methods. Are you also one of them who wants to lose weight but aren't sure how to start? Worry no more. Follow my five easy steps to weight loss today. No more delays. No more waiting until Monday or the New Year. Follow these simple and effective steps and you'll get started losing weight today, and keep it off tomorrow. 

1. Carry a notebook and a pen.
Make sure you write in that notebook!
Every single thing that you swallow should be written in your notebook, preferably as soon as you swallow it. If you finish your daughter's leftover porridge at breakfast, write it down. Sample a cake at friends place? Write it down. Just a 'taste' of the curry you're making for dinner? Write it down! Writing down what we eat and drink forces us to be aware of what we're putting in our mouth. It also gives us an easy way to track our intake and decide what changes we want to make. 

2. Ask 'why?'
Every time you start to eat or drink, ask yourself one word: Why? Why am I eating this? Am I hungry, tired, bored, stressed, lonely? The correct answer is simple: hunger. If you're not hungry, don't eat. Figure out what you need to do to satisfy that emotion: Take a nap, read a book, yell at your spouse, call a friend -- just don't eat if you're not hungry. 

3. Eat to lose.
That's right; if you skip meals you won't lose weight. Why not? Because then you'll get so hungry that you snack, or eat more than you want to, or end up feeling miserable and quit right away. Everybody needs to eat and deserves to eat three meals per day. Snacks, too (if, of course, you eat right kind). Wrong ways of dieting just leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied. A meal should include whole grains, fruit and vegetables, protein and even a small amount of fat.

4. Remember your favorite things.
If you've ever tried to completely avoid your favorite food, then completely lost
control and devoured the entire bag of cookies, you know what I'm talking about. Stuck on chocolate? Eat one delicious, exquisite piece of high-quality chocolate every evening. Savor that chocolate. Sit down, relax, and do nothing but enjoy the flavor, texture and experience of eating the chocolate. Eat slowly, enjoying every bite. And whatever you do, don't feel guilty. A small portion of your favorite food will keep you satisfied and happy -- and losing weight. 

5. Find a part of your body that moves (not your mouth) and move it.
Everyone can move something. If you have bad knees you can still exercise your arms or even do water exercises in a pool. Take up line dancing or karate. Walk the dog in the morning before work, take the kids for a bike ride after school, or listen to favorite music while using your treadmill. Even housework can become exercise if you move vigorously enough. There simply are no excuses for not moving.

There you have it: five simple, easy-to-start steps toward weight loss and long-term weight management. Start right now.


Remember the morning after the vacation, when you tend to go: Ugh! I blew my diet! Now what? Despite trying to be virtuous, you lost your diet halo in a wave of overindulgence. You wake up the next day feeling overstuffed, bloated, and nauseated.

There’s no doubt about it, during the vacation, even though short weekend, there are one or more occasions when you do eat a little more than you should.  Even if you are watching your food choices and trying to aim to choose healthier, with so many options available, if you have a little bit of this and a little bit of that, it will add up.  So how can you undo the damage done by a holiday meal so that it doesn’t have such a negative impact on your body weight?


I.            Drink it up:
Mineral water, filtered water, water with lemon and mint, all are very good for you. Drink a lot of water to flush toxins from your system. Try juices that contain lemons, carrots, cucumber, celery, lettuce and coriander as they should be great for flushing out toxins.

Recipe for Detoxifying Juice:
                     ¼ medium Red Capsicum chopped coarsely
                     1 medium Tomato, chopped coarsely
                     1 medium Carrot, chopped coarsely
                     2 stems of Celery
                     ½ cup Parsley Leaves
                     ½ cup (150ml) Water

1.                  Blend or process all the ingredients with water until pureed.
2.                  Strain through a coarse sieve into a large jug.
3.                  Add ice and serve.

II.            Go green:
Green teas are great as antioxidants; drink one to two cups, and even better choose naturally decaffeinated green tea. It also significantly reduces water retention after a heavily salted diet. Eating out almost always guarantees salt bloat and having green tea considerably helps! But remember; avoid caffeine as it can cause adrenal damage.

Recipe for Flavoured Ice Tea:
                     3 Ginger Tea Bags
                     1 ltr. 4 cups boiling Water
                     2 tbsp Honey/Palm Sugar, grated
                     10 cm stick fresh Lemon Grass, chopped finely
                     1 small Orange, sliced thinly or ½ cup Strawberries, finely chopped or ½ cup Kiwi, finely chopped.
                     ½ Lime, sliced thinly
                     ½ cup Mint Leaves, torn

1.      Place the tea bags and the boiling water in a large heat proof jug; allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
2.      Discard the tea bags. Add sugar or honey, lemon grass, orange or strawberries or kiwi and lime to the jug; stir to combine. Refrigerate for 5 hours and cover.
3.      Stir mint into the cold tea.
4.      Serve with ice.

III.            Miracle Juice:
Speaking of removing toxins, what better way to do it than by drinking- wheat grass. You can get the benefits even without a daily dose of it. A few times a week is great too, especially after a vacation. It is a sure fire way to help speed up your energy, your vibrancy and your metabolism. It’s very powerful stuff and its potency takes getting used to. 

Recipe for Magical Wheat Grass Juice: 

                     2 tbsp Wheat Grass, dried
                     1 glass/200ml Water
                     1 Gooseberry (Amla), grated
                     3 tsp Coriander Leaves, chopped
                     Few Mint Leaves
                     2 Springs Parsley
                     4-5 Tulsi Leaves

1.      Grind all the ingredients with 1 glass of water.
2.      Pass through a fine sieve.
3.      Serve at room temperature.

IV.            Delightful Yoghurt:
Bypass the sugary fruit-bottomed yoghurt and reach for plain yoghurt and stir in a bit of your favorite fresh fruit. The probiotics in yoghurt can help get your digestive system back on track while the combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat can keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Recipe for Yoghurt Smoothie:
                     1 cup (approx. 20 slices) unpeeled Cucumber, grate
                     ½ cup Yoghurt
                     ¼ tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera) powder
                     Salt to taste
                     Pepper powder to taste
                     Mint Leaves (for garnishing)

1.      Combine yoghurt, salt and pepper.
2.      Grate cucumber and mix with yoghurt mixture.
3.      Garnish with mint leaves.
4.      Chill in the refrigerator.
5.      Serve cold.

V.            Chew on Green:
One of the most concentrated sources of nutrients, dark leafy greens, are low in calories and ultra-versatile in the kitchen. Include leafy greens in every meal of the day, they are rich in phytonutrients which will remove oxidative stress of holiday food. Leafy greens are also loaded with fiber, which will stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full longer.

Recipe for Rejuvenating Salad: 

         ½ cup Celery, chopped
         1 cup loosely torn Iceberg Lettuce
         3 tbsp Hung Curd
         ½ tsp Flaxseeds[roasted]
         Oregano to taste
         White Pepper to taste
         Few sprigs of Parsley (for garnishing)

1.      In a bowl, put iceberg lettuce, add celery.
2.      Toss with hung curd, flaxseed, white pepper and oregano.
3.      Add a few sprigs of Parsley as garnish.
4.      Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve.

Other important tips would include:

                     Go Wholesome: Simple carbohydrates like white rice, bread and pasta are basically devoid of nutrients, vitamins or any substances that are good for your body. They raise the blood sugar and have a high glycemic index. They are also often filled with preservatives, which can build up in your system, leading to the development of toxins. To overcome this problem, switch to eating more high-fiber wholegrain foods and complex carbohydrates, such as those found in starchy vegetables like potatoes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, brown rice and legumes. Complex carbohydrates are much more beneficial for the digestive system and will help to clear out the build-up of preservatives and toxins left behind by simple carbohydrates.

                     Recharge! Take a break: The morning after overindulging, give your stomach a break. Wait until you're hungry and then start with an antioxidant rich juice like coriander mint juice. Follow it up with fiber-rich breakfast like oatmeal to get your digestive system in gear!

                     Drink plenty of fluids: Mineral water, filtered water, water with lemon and mint, water with apple cider vinegar- all are very good for you. Make sure you drink a lot of water before eating and drinking. This will fill you up, and you’re less likely to eat/drink as much. Many folks think they are hungry when actually they are thirsty.

                     Exercise: 30 min of brisk walking will undo some of that holiday damage. Exercise is always a great tool to control weight gain. The holidays mean we are going to be eating with friends and family more than usual with all the get-together. So, adding some extra workout time can help with the extra calories you will be consuming.

The best method to help you recover better from a holiday indulgence is by ensuring that you aren't starving yourself for days straight! If you all of a sudden drop your calorie intake way down and keep it there, this may also signal to the body to start using up muscle mass as a fuel source. This is precisely what you don’t want, so use a more gradual approach.  Bring your calorie intake much lower for two to three days and then adopt a more moderate calorie intake after that.

Remember, your body is able to reverse most of the damage. That’s how we are built, our liver, skin pores and our kidneys are all responsible for doing so. With these great damage control strategies in place, a holiday binge doesn't have to set you back for long (or at all)!

Food for Adolescence

The period of transition from childhood to adulthood is called adolescence with accelerated physical, biochemical and emotional development. During adolescence, the influences of eating habit are numerous. The growing independence of adolescents, increased participation in social life and a generally busy schedule of activities have a great impact on food intake.

Diet of teenagers is bizarre and unbalanced. The concern about the size, shape of the body, sexual development, vitality, skin and attractiveness are great and there is a sense of freedom to make their own decisions which is reflected in their choices of foods. Further, family conflicts and emotional problems may arise due to feeling of social inadequacy or pressures of school and college. Therefore, Irregular meal times and snacking in between meals becomes a common practice.

Choices of food are important. Teenagers are vulnerable to the influences of advertising messages related to food. Most of the foods are empty calories and lack other nutrients. Ease of getting readymade foods at fast food outlets and food stores make adolescents eat out more often

Breakfast: The most important meal of the day
Breakfast is frequently neglected and omitted more often by teenagers. Eating first thing in the morning benefits your thinking power and helps maintain a healthy body weight. However many people skip it, seeing it as a way to cut calories and lose weight. You could not do anything worse. Eating at breakfast time helps to stop you snacking on high calorie bars and confectionery at break time and so, can help keep the total calorie bill down.

Nutrition for teenage girls:  
Just as girls start to notice their body shape, nature takes a hand in seemingly making things more difficult. At around nine years of age, girls begin to catch up weight wise with boys and by 13 they probably weigh a bit more than a boy of the same age.
As they mature, during the teenage years, they also gain more fat than boys. This is simply the way they are made and it makes shedding puppy fat very difficult. Adolescent girls with personal tensions concerning figure control cause them to follow unwise, self imposed crash diets for weight loss. Self starvation may result in complex and far reaching eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Calcium and Iron Requirment:
As a teenager, girls need to pay special attention to calcium and iron. Restrained eating practices, such as avoiding milk is widely reported by teenage girls and can have a detrimental effect on bone growth. From the ages of 13-17 girls will gain as much as 90% of their bone density. 

Calcium: Milk, cheese and yoghurt are the best sources of calcium and the need for these foods is higher than at any other time (except pregnancy when it is the same as it is for you now). Teenage girls need the equivalent of a 400 ml of ordinary milk each day. This can be made up of milk on breakfast cereal, and milk in milkshakes or smoothies, curds, cottage cheese etc. Calcium does not have to come from milk alone as cheese, yoghurt, drumsticks, fish, broccoli, spinach also contain calcium. A glass of milk, a bowl of yoghurt and 30 gms of cheese, each have a similar amount of calcium. You need any five of these each day to maximize your chances of reaching your genetic potential.

Iron: Almost a third of teenage girls have low iron intake. Anemia is prevalent among adolescents, especially girls as there is additional iron loss due to menstruation which becomes significant from 13 years onwards. Iron is found in meats and also found in plant foods like green leafy vegetables, soyabean, and jaggery but one need to combine these with vitamin C rich foods, to increase its absorption.

Puberty comes sooner for overweight girls:
Pediatricians have long noted a correlation between overweight and “early menarche” (first period) in young girls. Overweight and obesity in young girls appears to speed puberty. Girls who experience their first period at a relatively young age are predisposed to become obese as adults. Childhood obesity helps drive both early puberty and adult weight troubles. For parents concerned about the potential for obesity in their daughter’s future, “the focus should be on the child being overweight rather than the timing of her first period,”

Nutrition for teenage boys:
Between the ages of 13 and 17 most boys will gain around 17kg. That is quite a growth spurt in just four years and a lot of food is required to achieve this growth. 
Teenage boys are known for their enormous appetites and they usually eat so much food that they rarely lack any particular vitamin or mineral. As with all things in life, however, there are limits for good health. Too much of any one sort of food will lead to an imbalance. Weight gain or even obesity can result from eating too much. Currently about half the adult population (male and female) is overweight. Being overweight has serious drawbacks for young people. One is more likely to be picked on or bullied if you are overweight and less likely to do well at sport. A wide variety of food is the key to a healthy diet, especially if you are a male between 13 and 17 years.

Nutritional Balance
Whole cereals should be taken in good quantities. These starchy foods are energy giving foods, which are needed in large amounts to support the growth spurt of your teenage years.
Good proteins should also be included in the form of milk, pulses, meats, fish etc. You need 2 glasses of milk throughout the day, as well as a piece of fruit or a serving of vegetables and bowl of pulse or fish at each meal. You should be eating four or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day. When energy intake needs to be high, eating between meals helps you get there. Snacking is good for you because it helps keep your energy levels constant. Snacking is good for you as long as the snacks are healthy and can be in form of fruit. Some snacks are better than others at supplying energy, vitamins and minerals. Healthy snacks to choose from include a bowl of breakfast cereal (at any time), a sandwich of whole wheat  bread and peanut butter, beans sprout ,cottage cheese strings, yoghurt, a yoghurt drink, a milkshake,  fruit, a fruit shake.

Regular exercise is important so that you get a balance between the energy you eat and the energy you expend (use up). Exercise would also help in building the muscles, as they are important to impress the girls.


Clean: Always wash your fruits and vegetables, hands, counters and cooking utensils.

Separate: Keep raw food separately. Germs can spread from one food to another.

Cook: Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.

Chill: Put fresh food in the refrigerator right away. Store food at the proper temperature.

Important: Do use safe water and raw materials.

Eating a Balanced Diet

Celebrating World Health this month, let us provide some insight on food safety measures and how to ensure you are eating healthy!

A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, adequate essential amino acids from protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and adequate calories. The requirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods. A properly balanced diet (in addition to exercise) is also thought to be important for lowering health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cancer.

At the core of the balanced diet are foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and low in unnecessary fats and sugars. The following are essential parts of a balanced diet:
  • Fruits: Besides being a great source of nutrition, fruits make quick and tasty snacks.
  • Vegetables: They are primary sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Dark, leafy greens (Eg. spinach, kale etc.) generally contain the most nutrition and can be eaten at every meal.
  • Grains: All types of grains are good sources of complex carbohydrates and some key vitamins and minerals. Grains are also naturally low in fat.
  • Proteins: Meats and beans are primary sources of protein, which is essential for proper muscle and brain development.
  • Dairy: Dairy products provide calcium, Vitamin D and other essential nutrients. Opt for reduced-fat of fat-free chesses, milk and yogurt.
  • Oils: Opt for low-fat versions of products that contain oil, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise. Good oils, such as olive oil, can replace fattier vegetable oil in your diet.

1. Fill up on colourful fruits and vegetables.
2. Eat more healthy carbohydrates and whole grains.
3. Enjoy healthy fats & avoid unhealthy fats.
4. Put protein in perspective.
5. Add calcium for strong bones.
6. Limit sugar and salt.
7. Bulk up on fiber.

Nutrition during pregnancy

IF YOU'RE LIKE MANY pregnant women, you vowed to eat healthier the minute you found out you were expecting. You may even have started making a mental list of nutritional do's and don't s: Eat more calcium-rich foods, get more protein, cut out the caffeine and junk foods.

Good thing: Developing healthy eating habits will set the stage for your baby to grow into a strong child and adult, as well as ultimately reduce his risk for certain diseases. There is no doubt that there are plenty of things to think about over the coming months. One thing to get started on straight away is to make good food choices that will help both you and your baby.

Are you eating well? What exactly should you eat? What should you avoid and why? Here are some facts and tips for the different types of food to watch out for during this very special time
Firstly you need to eat more of certain foods. Some people see pregnancy as an opportunity to eat freely. After all you are going to put on 10-12 kg at least that is the expected weight gain for a healthy pregnancy. However, pregnancy is a risk period for the development of obesity and it is always more difficult to lose weight than gain it. Getting the balance right and eating well now is important for the health of the baby as well as the mother.

Eating regular meals and a wide variety of food is the definition of 'eating well'. It really is that simple. It also means making time for yourself and eating at least three meals each day.

Snacking between meals will be very helpful for those who experience fatigue during the day. Fruit, yoghurt, crackers and buttermilk, is the type of snack that is recommended.

A cup of coffee and a chocolate bar, however, is not recommended. It is energy you need as opposed to feeling awake. No more than two cups of coffee per day is recommended during pregnancy.

Which foods should I eat more of?
You should eat more of the following foods in the second half of your pregnancy:
  • Calcium rich food: Your baby’s teeth will begin to develop as early as the sixth week of pregnancy and calcium is also needed for bone development. Milk, cottage cheese and yoghurt are the best sources of calcium. Some examples of calcium rich foods are milk on cereal, a glass of milk, a cheese sandwich, all types of yoghurt, and milkshake. Calcium is also found in the soft bones in fish, in broccoli, cabbage and spinach.
  • Iron rich foods: Iron is needed for the growth of your baby’s brain. As you go through pregnancy your baby will build up a store of iron which will last until they reach six months. 75% of women do not eat enough iron. The best dietary source is lean red meat and you should aim to eat it 3-4 times a week. Fortified breakfast cereals, beans, eggs, apricots, prunes, figs, spinach and broccoli also contain iron but you also need a good supply of vitamin C to make use of the iron.
  • Vitamin C Rich Foods: Vitamin C rich foods include gooseberries, guavas, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, limes, kiwi, blackcurrants, mangoes and nectarines. Any drink made from these fruits is also high is vitamin C. Potatoes are also a reasonably good source. The need for vitamin C increases by 33% during pregnancy. Choose two of the foods listed above to meet your daily Vitamin C requirements.
  • Oily Fish: Mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines and kippers contain oil which is essential for the development of your baby’s brain and eyes. Aim to eat oily fish 2-3 times a week.
  • Drink plenty of liquids: Drink at least eight glasses of water daily to help prevent dehydration. Without enough water, many of our regular body functions can't take place, including cell respiration, digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Foods to be avoided
  • Peanuts: These are a possible allergen.
  • Unwashed fruit and vegetables Take extra care when eating out and only choose cooked fruit and vegetables.
  • Liver: It may contain too much vitamin A.
  • Raw eggs: Ensure the yolk and white are solid when having a boiled or fried egg and avoid homemade mayonnaise.
  • Undercooked meat: Even cooked until pink is not cooked enough.
  • Unpasteurised milk and milk products such as cheese and yogurt.
  • Alcohol: The balance of evidence suggests that drinking alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy, alcohol while pregnant; even small amounts have been linked to serious birth defects.
  • DON'T fill up on empty calories. Candy, cake, cookies and ice cream definitely don't count as double-duty, nutrient-rich foods. It's OK to have them during pregnancy but in moderation. Limit these foods to thrice a week, you won’t feel deprived and you also won't overeat.
  • DO remember that you're not really eating for two while you are pregnant.

What about folic acid?
Folate is a folic acid supplement available from your pharmacy. It contains 400 micrograms of folic acid and should ideally be taken three months prior to conception and up until the twelfth week of pregnancy. It aids the vital development of your baby’s spine and brain, thereby preventing the conditions spina bifida and anencephaly (jointly known as Neural Tube Defects or NTD).
Some foods are fortified with folic acid and will help to increase the high intake required during pregnancy. These include bread, breakfast cereal and milk supplemented with folic acid.

To avoid constipation
Lot of pregnant women suffers from the problem of constipation. To avoid constipation:
·         Choose high fibre foods such as whole wheat or wholegrain breakfast cereal, wholegrain bread, pasta and rice.
·         Fruit and vegetables are also an excellent source of fibre. Aim to eat four or more pieces a day. In practical terms this means eating at least one portion of fruit or vegetables at each meal and then one more in between meals.
·         Eight to 10 glasses of water each day is also vital to help avoid constipation